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Sound Publishing suspends operations at Bainbridge Island printing facility

Sound Publishing Inc. today announced the suspension of operations at the company’s Bainbridge Island printing facility. The company will temporarily close the plant at the end of business on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The closure will affect 44 full and part-time staff at the press center. The plant has been in operation for more than 20 years.

Sound president Manfred Tempelmayr said a combination of unusual challenges facing the publishing industry and the general weak economy led to the decision.

“There’s no question that the economy is taking its toll on every business. Coupled with that, the publishing industry is going through a major transformation, which will lead to a reduction in printed products and an increase in our on-line offerings. Sound Publishing is a strong and viable company and we need to ensure that we take steps to build on that strength,” Tempelmayr said.

“We will consolidate all press functions at our Everett press facility and will offer a number of the affected staff the chance to work at that location,” he said.

The Bainbridge facility will continue to serve as a staging area for the delivery of newspapers in Kitsap County.

“Our hope is that we will be able to resume operations at Bainbridge when the economy improves. We will be keeping the plant and equipment intact but do not know when we might be able to start up again,” Tempelmayr said.

The Everett facility is the result of the consolidation of press operations the company had in Burlington, Lynnwood and Kent and comprises an area of more than 85,000-square feet, making it one of the state’s largest press plants.

The company has taken steps recently to reduce the number of editions for some of its suburban and community newspapers, resulting in less demand for printing capacity. Many of the company’s commercial customers have also cut back on both the size and frequency of their print work, further reducing the demand on the company’s press operations.

Sound Publishing Inc. is the largest publisher of community and suburban newspapers in Washington and is also one of the area’s largest commercial web printers. The company operates 30 community and suburban newspapers, two monthly business journals, and 17 Little Nickel and Nickel Ads weekly shoppers throughout Washington and Oregon. Sound also operates a web printing facility in Everett and publishes two editions of the Northwest Navigator for the U.S. Navy.

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